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Eligible for unemployment after being fired for "violating company policies"? Part 1

by Anelej

You said: the more, the better! so here is my two part submission because I'm obviously way over the word limit count...thanks for your patience :)

This is a VERY detailed letter that was released to my company's HR concerning the events that culminated right up to my termination.
I was employed with my former company for a year and a half and held a position as a sales associate. One month ago, January of 2009, I put forth a formal complaint to my district manager about my store manager. A simple situation turned into a drawn out argument. That particular day I had asked my store manager why I was scheduled to work less hours than usual; initially assuming it was a mistake, at which time my store manager smirked, and informed me that I had been “requesting too much,” and sarcastically commented about how my lost hours were going to be granted to the “new person” (recently hired associate). Initially shocked with his behavior, I questioned him further, at which I was told that if I still had any problems with his decision, I had better stop questioning if I “wanted to keep my job that day.” This was not the first time he had acted in an unprofessional and unethical way when dealing with myself and the other employees. Upset with his derogatory behavior, I placed a call to my District Manager. My store manager then demanded the store and deposit keys, and told me to go home for the day. He had unnecessarily called mall security and had me escorted off of the property. After, the district manager returned my call and said, “I’d better say whatever I’ve got to say because it won’t last very long.”
After repeated harassment and constant negative reinforcement, the dynamics of the store had reached a boiling point. The entire team felt that a store manager is supposed to lead by example, and set high standards for a company with a solid foundation and principles. I informed the DM that for months our team had been asking for daily direction, and open and prompt communication, but nothing was being done to address the stores’ and team’s needs. The store was not being directed
in a professional manner and specifically not according to the company's protocol. When tasks weren’t being executed “properly,” random associates would be held responsible and penalized. I brought the team’s unhappiness to the attention of the district manager after frequent failed attempts at communication with the store manager that would repeatedly result in negative consequences. My district manager recognized the need for a formal store meeting and set one up for a later date. Although the other employees and I were apprehensive for fear of future retribution by the store manager if we brought up our issues with the way in which the store was being managed, we agreed to the meeting in hopes that it would solve the problems of the store so that we would finally be able to work in a proper and positive work environment.
One of the problems within the store was the way in which the commission system was being handled. We would have customers come in and refuse to further shop with the other associates at the store. The store manager would give the customers clear instructions to call his personal cell phone beforehand so he could be there at the time of the purchase. On numerous occasions, he would claim that certain purchases would in fact be his, and even though we would conduct the actual sale, by claiming that “they had come and asked for him.”
We understood that a commissions system could create a competitive environment but we felt that we were cheated out of our personally earned money. It would not have been a problem if it happened occasionally and those particular purchases were small, but this was repeated and he seemed to single out and target the largest sales.
Collectively, at the meeting, the store team expressed that we were unhappy with the “skewed fairness” of individual commission sales, the penalization of employees for not completing tasks to which they had not been assigned, and store managers divulgence of personal information to other employees. We also mentioned the negative, counterproductive, morale breaking way in which the store is run. After the meeting everybody felt a sense of relief with a collectively agreed upon idea that we were all going to start anew.

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